If you live in a cold climate, you've probably already put your bike to bed for winter. But if you haven't quite gotten around to totally setting up your bike for it's winter hibernation, or you just want to ensure you've done all you can to properly store it until spring, check out the following tips.
1.) Sounds obvious, but did you seriously service it?
It doesn't matter if you've got lots of miles to go before your next service. If you can, take it in or give it a once over yourself. At the very least, change the oil and filters.
2.) Don't totally drain it.
Listen up. Don’t necessarily drain out all the fuel to avoid corrosion of the metal tank during storage. At least leave some inside. To prevent the fuel from totally degrading and clogging carburetor jets and injectors, using a fuel stabilizer is recommended Alternatively, you could also consider draining the carburetor entirely. Weigh the pros and cons.
3.) Freshen up.
If your bike is shaft-driven, you should also drain out its gear lube and replace it with lube that's fresh. And don’t forget to make your bike’s exhaust and air intake pipes critter- and mouse-proof by stuffing some sandwich bag into them. Also, check the bike’s coolant freeze protection levels and make sure they’re up to the task.
4.) Seal the deal.
You want rodents nesting in your bike? Probably not. Make your bike’s exhaust and air intake pipes rodent-proof by stuffing old towels into the pipes or sealing them some other way. It's not rocket science. Just make sure they can't become a home for some kind of creature.
5.) Check your coolant levels.
Just check the bike’s coolant freeze protection levels and make sure they’re up to the task all winter long, depending on your climate.
6.) Do an overhaul on all fluids though.
Remember to also service all fluids, including brake and clutch fluids, especially if you haven't changed them in the last two years or so. Since most of them are hygroscopic, they can absorb moisture and cause rusting to various parts of your bike.
7.) Protect your battery.
Either you put it on a trickle charger, or take it out to jump-start it at the beginning of spring.
8.) Keep your tires in tip-top shape.
Don't ruin them by letting the bike sit in one spot for too long.
9.) Prevent rust:
You'd be surprised how many people don't actually consider this. Store your bike in a dry, relatively warmish place if possible. Spray its metal parts with a corrosion inhibitor. Cover it using a material that can absorb moisture (like a blanket or old cotton sheet).
10.) Don't forget your gear.
Finally, clean your riding gear and store it in a dry place where it can’t mold. Make a note of its storage. You'd be surprised what you can forget over the winter.
Happy hibernating. See you on the road come spring.